How delicate are lineups? Where is the inflection point? If the Astros are one Altuve away from implosion, are the M's one Cano away from the opposite?
Looking forward to finding out.
Last stat I saw, a couple of days ago, had the A's winning 34 of their last 45. Any playoff race presumes that they start playing normally. Since they have extremely normal players, Dr. D is going to take this as the prime computation.
Even better than seeing them slow to a .550 pace would be one seeing them hit a bump in the road, a losing streak along the lines of 4-9 or so. Then, bang, the M's are back in it presuming they play to their abilities.
One thing that does impress, though, are the marginal improvements that Jerry Dipoto has accumulated in his cheeks like a chipmunk storing acorns.
One cubicle to the right, DaddyO has up a good read on Felix regarding potential options for his future disposition. I thought for sure it was going to take a phantom injury for the M's to save face, but Dipoto again impresses with his Jose Canseco "All they care about over there is winning" attitude.
No word at all as to who replaces Felix but I am guessing that with a 2H slash of ... wait for it ... .304/.391/.582, that Taylor Motter would represent an incremental improvement. And this doesn’t even go to the issue of the general malaise and overcast skies that had begin to collect around Felix starts.
As opposed to Megacloser that is, similar to a Megalodon. The 8th has become a source of joy to M's watchers, with Colome settling in for a 0.00 ERA since June.
Denard Span has a 112 OPS+ on the season but has gone off for a 132 OPS+ (.492 SLG) for us. That's why the super-saber lineup Thursday, stacking all the top hitters at the, um, top, was so deelish. Haniger-Span-Segura-Boom. .. worked, too, as the M's beat Verlander badly about the head and shoulders. .... that Verlander? Yes, that Verlander. More, please.
Cameron Maybin has a 344 OBP for us since the deal, which compares favorably to Heredia's .092 or whatever it was. Here is where we start talking real "marginal improvement" that you can trade for real cash at your local Moneytree. Maybin's life slash is 255/322/369 and that's with good wheels, 173/49 stolen bases and 32 doubles.
In 2017 they've got him for 29/5 stolen bases. Can that be right? He's 1/0 for us already.
Slap me silly if I didn't think that Robinson Canó was going to react much more the way that Felix Hernandez is oh-so-predictably doing, which Cano obviously is not. He seems to be throwing himself body and soul into the position switch, which takes effect when, next series? Add one .385 OBP to the "marginal pennant race" pile.
So it's an inch here, an inch there, an inch the other place, which as we sez, needs but for Oakland to play only normally - much less hit a bad patch. May their bad patch begin instanter.